Written answers

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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115. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the yearly saving to the Exchequer over the course of the Haddington Road agreement from the pay reduction for those earning over €65,000. [35777/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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117. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the yearly saving to the Exchequer over the course of the Haddington Road agreement from the increment pauses. [35779/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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118. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the yearly saving to the Exchequer over the course of the Haddington Road agreement from additional working hours across the public sector. [35780/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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119. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a breakdown of the €175 million in projected savings over the course of the Haddington Road agreement from allowing management to maintain services against the backdrop of decreasing staff numbers, facilitate reductions in staff numbers and the associated annual pay bill cost. [35781/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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120. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the yearly breakdown of the reduction in the costs of teaching supervision and substitution for the duration of the Haddington Road agreement. [35782/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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121. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide in tabular form the specific Haddington Road agreement measures agreed at a sectoral level, to include the savings allocated to each measure. [35783/13]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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122. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a yearly breakdown of the measures and accompanying savings for the duration of the Haddington Road agreement. [35784/13]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 117 to 122, inclusive, together.

As I have stated previously in the House, the provisions set out in the Haddington Road Agreement will deliver the targeted savings of €300 million in 2013 and €1 billion by 2016. The savings arising under the Agreement in 2013 have been incorporated in the various votes in the context of the revised estimates which I published last April and further details for 2014 and 2015 will be incorporated in the vote allocations in the context of the overall estimates process. In addition to the obvious cost benefits, the Agreement provides us with the scope to progress the reform agenda and to deliver unprecedented increases in productivity across the Public Service.

The proposed Agreement is comprised of a number of central measures, which required legislative changes, such as pay, increments and pensions, and a series of sectoral measures such as reductions in overtime rates and non-core payments, increases in working hours across the Public Service and revisions to supervision and substitution payments. The overall savings target of €1 billion is comprised of the following main elements, as set out in the table.

-2013Full Year
Savings arising from pay reduction€102m€210m
Savings arising from other central measures€35m€130m
Savings arising from productivity measures€50m€430m
Sector specific measures€118m€230m
Total€305m€1,000m

Of the €1 billion target, the pay reduction to those earning over €65,000 will deliver approximately €210m. Other central measures, including pension reductions and increment pauses will deliver in the order of €130m, bringing the total amount of savings from central measures to over €340m.

The Agreement will deliver an unprecedented increase in productivity across the Public Service, through the provision of almost 15 million additional working hours and a range of other efficiency and reform measures. The application of the additional hours will vary by sector depending on local patterns in the demand for services, the scale of on-going reductions in staff numbers and the extent of overtime and agency payments. The additional hours will:

- Reduce the requirement for paid overtime hours and agency costs, thereby leading to direct cash savings;

- Allow management to maintain services against the backdrop of decreasing staff numbers and will also facilitate reductions in staff numbers and the associated annual paybill cost over the course of the Agreement; and

- Facilitate the reduction in the costs of supervision and substitution in schools for the duration of the Agreement, which will yield savings of €125m.

These additional hours will facilitate the delivery of an estimated €430m in set out in the following table.

-2013Full Year
Reduced requirement for Overtime and Agency working€50m€130m
Elimination of supervision and substitution allowance€0€125m
Facilitating headcount reduction€0€175m
Total€50m€430m

There have been numerous specific measures agreed at the sectoral level. These measures will help to deliver the greatest return for each sector both in terms of cost savings and efficiency gains and ensuring that each sector is making a fair contribution to the overall savings target. These measures will include, for example, changes to overtime rates and non-core payments. In total, these sector specific measures and Agreements will yield savings of almost €230m.

In addition to the various productivity measures, the Agreement provides for further long-term and sustainable workplace reforms in a number of areas. The Agreement will ensure that performance management systems will be put in place in areas where no system currently exists. In addition, in areas where performance management is currently in place, these systems will be strengthened and managers will be held accountable for the performance and development of their staff. The Agreement provides for more effective arrangements to support redeployment on a cross-sectoral and geographical basis. This will enhance management's flexibility for the deployment of staff to areas of most need to ensure continued service delivery.

The Public Service will continue to be to the fore in pioneering flexible working arrangements which can contribute to the efficient and effective business performance as well as enabling staff to balance work/life requirements. However, the multitude of work sharing patterns currently in place can impact on the capacity of organisations to deliver services. The Agreement will allow for the streamlining of these patterns and will ensure a minimum attendance of 50% for all future approved arrangements. Significant progress has been made in restructuring the Public Service in recent years, particularly under the Public Service Agreement. The Agreement will allow for the streamlining of the Public Service to make it a leaner and more efficient organisation. All sectors will be required to bring forward proposals on ways to reduce management numbers and to rationalise grades.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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116. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the yearly saving to the Exchequer over the course of the Haddington Road agreement from the pension reductions. [35778/13]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) does not contain any pension reduction measure. In drawing up the HRA, the Labour Relations Commission expressly recognised that Government plans for certain public service pension reductions did not form part of the proposals which comprise the HRA. The relevant paragraph in the HRA, headed "Public Service Pensions", reads as follows:

Separately to this Agreement, the Parties note that the Government intends to align the reductions in public service pensions in payment with the reductions applied to serving staff. The Parties note that this measure will apply to pensions in payment greater than €32,500 only.
Reductions in those public service pensions valued in excess of €32,500 duly took effect on 1 July 2013, on foot of provisions in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013. It is estimated that the saving arising specifically from these pension reductions will amount to a full-year total of €24 million in 2014.

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